Rep. Charlie Crist explains why he missed vote supporting Israel
WASHINGTON - Rep. Charlie Crist said missed an important vote last night because he didn’t give himself enough time to walk from his office to the Capitol and was “detained” by people in the halls wanting to chat.
“I’m sorry. It happens. Now I know better. I have to give myself more time,” the rookie Democrat told the Tampa Bay Times this morning.
The vote condemning a UN Security Council resolution aimed at Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem took place at 7:05 p.m., according to the House Clerk website, and was the first in a series of votes, which Crist did make.
While it’s common for lawmakers to miss votes at times, Crist was clearly concerned about the perception and issued a news release last night that included a quote from Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, calling the former governor a “great friend of Israel.”
Crist this morning noted he was a co-sponsor of the measure that passed 342-80. “This was just a mistake,” he said.
Asked about speculation he may have been fundraising Crist replied, “No, no, that’s not the case.”
The issue puts Crist on the opposite side of President Barack Obama, whom Crist has supported as far back as the stimulus (the hug). Republicans and Democrats denounced a decision from the administration to abstain from the UN resolution, allowing it to be adopted.